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VANILLA & ORANGE CREAM LIFE

I have started the pre-op liquid diet. 3-5 shakes a day of two flavors (vanilla and orange cream). Don’t know how much weight, if any, this particular part of the journey will remove, but the shakes will help me prepare my liver to move out of the way for surgery (by shrinking).  

Am I hungry? After the last few months eating to prove a point, of course I am. I am not above chewing cardboard at this point…but I won’t because I’m determined to make the adjustment. One day, I will be able to eat solid food again – anything I want – and I plan on being quite the food snob by then.

I can’t believe I’m having surgery in 12 days. 12 days to change my life for the better forever!

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RUBBER, MEET ROAD

Tomorrow I go see my bariatric surgeon for my pre-op appointment. I will also get my vitamins and the protein powder for my liquid diet. 

It’s here, folks, the moment I’ve waited for since August. Finally moving forward with my weight loss surgery! Ever since I made the decision to walk this path, I have anxiously, and sometimes impatiently, paced along the start line. 

I am more than excited to finally push the “go” button. My life will never be the same. I will have to eat differently for the rest of my life. Given the alternative, I am determined to do whatever it takes to lose this weight and keep it off. 

Whatever the weight loss unearths, I am ready for it. Whatever I need to deal with, I will. I have never felt so determined to get healthy and stay there in my entire life. I know this will not be easy, in fact, I know this will be my toughest journey yet. 

I am going to try to get some “before” photos tomorrow and start keeping track of inches lost. I cannot wait to see what’s around the corner. 

To borrow from a phrase from my childhood (knee-high by the fourth of July), my slogan is, “half-thigh by the fourth of July,” or something like that. It will happen faster than I will believe.

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FORCED REST – YES, THAT’S GOING WELL

I’m almost three weeks out from my surgery now. I’m out of the big pain meds and am surviving on hands full of ibuprofen. I’m still falling asleep at random times, proving I still need rest. 

I have issues with staying still most of the time. I was one of those kids with perfect attendance through most of the school career, mostly because I had a mother who insisted that I take school very seriously and therefore must be present even if I had to be propped up in a chair. If I could sit up, I could go to school. 

Therefore, being forced to sit at home and recover is about the worse torture I could experience at the moment (except maybe for sit-ups and backbends). I can only watch so much tv, read, tv, read, tv… I can’t drive, so I’m pretty much stuck at home unless someone comes along to take me somewhere. 

I’m trying to work from home, but the laptop I have to work with is way too big, way too heavy, and in my condition, very difficult to use. I have a couple of ideas to try this week to see if I can make it work, but to say I’m disappointed that this isn’t working out like I’d planned is an understatement. Of course, I am not one to give up easily, so I undoubtedly will find a solution. Working will at least keep me busy a few hours a day.

The good news is, I have my pre-op appointment for my weight loss surgery next Monday. Then, I will start my liquid diet and have my surgery March 25th. I’m very excited about this period of my life, and if I can go to work before my next surgery, I will feel even better. 

I will be able to get my life moving again at the beginning of April, and that has me very excited about the future. For now, I must be patient and listen to my body’s need for rest, which is not easy, but I will comply because I want what lies on the other side of this lesson – health and vitality.

 

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BORED AND MEDICATED

It’s been more than a week since my hysterectomy. My post-op checkup went well and again I was told I’m farther ahead than most people would be at this point.  While i am feeling better, I still can’t do much and I won’t be able to drive for at least a couple more weeks.

I am not someone who likes to be bored and there’s only so much tv that can be consumed. I have been out for a couple of doc appts but otherwise, I’m here, resting as I should.

I’ve appreciated all the cards, flowers, letters, emails, and online interaction. That’s helped my mental state. I’ve been reading, sleeping, reading, sleeping, and reading. 

Wednesday, Laura took me to get my allergy shots and then we stopped at the grocery store. She suggested, rightly, that I use the motorized cart. I put my, “but I can do this,” away and climbed aboard. It’s such a different perspective from the chair.  How frustrating it must be to not be able to reach what you want when you want it, or have the battery run out mid-aisle.  The motorized cart, did, however, speed up the trip and get me home without being completely exhausted (I did take a 3-hour nap).

The other thing that I would suggest people install everywhere is the support bar they put in handicapped toilets. Those things should be everywhere!  In every bathroom, regardless of who lives there. So very helpful. I may install one before my next surgery.

I am going to try and work from home starting next week. That should alleviate some boredom! 

I know this is a bit of a ramble, but that’s what the meds do.  I will check in again when more lucid.

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DETOUR STITCHES AND PAIN MEDS

I am finally home after my hysterectomy and the removal of my left ovary. After 3 days in the hospital, despite their exemplary care, I was ready to come home and sleep in my recliner and have my privacy and not get woken up every few hours.

I was also ready to not have to see so many babies. The hospital does not yet have a wing dedicated to female care that does not involve childbirth, so I was in the NICU wing, where all the walls, including my room, were covered with artsy pictures of newborns. Even if I got up and walked down the hall, the hallways were lined with these photos and I would also pass the nursery as well as groups of family members who waited for news expectantly.

Honestly, the room was resort like and I ordered meals like I was ordering from room service. Still, when I first opened my eyes and saw the photo of this gorgeous newborn held as he slept in his parents’ hands, I felt the emptiness of my womb more than i thought I would.  

When the floor manager came to talk to me, I told her that every last nurse that had served me was exemplary and I would recommend that hospital to anyone.  I did ask her that the next time they put a hysterectomy patient in the room and knew they were doing so, to change out the photo for sensitivity purposes.  I knew I’d had a very mild reaction compared to what another person might have.

She thanked me for my honesty and said I wasn’t the first person to mention this and she would talk to marketing about the photos.

I came home last night, took my pain meds and slept in my recliner (I would have a tough time getting out of bed by myself). Some friends brought me breakfast and another is bringing dinner. I’m so grateful for all the visits, flowers, cards and food. Very, very grateful.

While in the hospital, I received news that finally, I am approved for my bariatric surgery which will now happen in late April. At least now I know and can plan for that eventuality.  For now, I need to heal from the current surgery. And rest.

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CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

I was thinking about my brother Scott today, much as I always do in January. I can hardly believe it’s been a dozen years since he left us. For the first time though, I have made it through the first part of Suckuary without too many emotional outbursts.  These outbursts sneak up on me and those who don’t know the history of Suckuary don’t know or understand. They just think I’m crazy or too emotional. Maybe I am, but at least I am, because going through life as a zombie who doesn’t crave brains is no way to live.

I try not to dwell on the pain. I’ve tried instead to dwell on the happy. Still, the subconscious can be a battlefield sometimes. I’m doing better, but I know it will always be a struggle. People who’ve never lost a sibling or a parent won’t understand, and I hope they don’t for a long, long time.  It’s an inexplicable loss regardless of the relationship you’ve head with either.

At least I’m busy this year.  I’ve got a boatload of changes ahead of me. The first quarter of this year will be a challenge for sure. I find out Tuesday when I will be having my RNY Gastric Bypass.  In the midst of all that, I have started new job duties which includes an entirely new, complicated software system, worked a lot of overtime (which means inadequate rest), and I’m still seeing my very patient trainer at LA Fitness. I’m literally weeks away from hitting a reset button of sorts and while I’m excited and ready to get started, part of me wonders a little if I can handle all this change at once.

Change comes, for sure. Always. Every day is different. Something in life changes every new morning. People call or they don’t, it rains, or it doesn’t, the sun comes out or it hides behind clouds. The car is clean, the tank is full, the windows are dirty, the commute is full of red or green lights. The coffee is too hot or just right. No day, no hour, no minute is ever the same.

Yet we fight change like it’s this menace that will destroy us. I’ve found that, with change, it’s the fight that destroys us more than the actual change does. If we just lift our feet and embrace the change, we tend to come out with a lot less scratches and bruises because we were open and flexible instead of scared and rigid.

As these rolling waves of changes come, may I roll with them, gracefully.